Osama Abdul Mohsen, a Syrian refugee who came to international attention after being tripped by a Hungarian camerawoman while holding his child, will be a guest at this year’s Jihlava international festival of documentary films, the organisers have announced. Mr. Mohsen, who is now a soccer trainer in Spain, will speak in the festival’s Inspiration Forum section. The opening film at this year’s Jihlava, the 19th edition, will be about the great Czech photographer Josef Koudelka. The event gets underway next Thursday.
The biggest annual festival of design in Central Europe, Designblok, gets underway in Prague on Wednesday. This year, the festival centre – the so-called Superstudio – will be located at the Výstaviště exhibition grounds and will traditionally offer a display of Czech and international designers and brands. I spoke to Jana Zielinski, the director of Designblok, and first asked her about the choice of this year’s main topic, which is freedom:
The winners of the annual Czech Press Photo competition were announced on Monday. The main prize was given to Mladá fronta Dnes photographer Jan Zátorský for his photo of migrants trying to cross the Serb-Hungarian border. The topic that clearly prevailed in this year’s competition was the migrant crisis.
The winner of this year’s Czech Press Photo is Mladá fronta Dnes photographer Jan Zátorský with a photo of migrants desperately trying to cross the Serb-Hungarian border. The picture, taken in September of this year won both the main prize, the Crystal Eye award for Photograph of the Year and best picture in the Spot News category. The jury assessed 3,700 photographs by close to 300 authors. The migrant crisis was a dominant theme this year.
The police have passed the case against three members of the guerrilla art group Ztohoven on to the state prosecutors office, police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulová has confirmed. The members of the renegade group, between the ages of 33 and 41, made international headlines when they posed as chimneysweeps, climbed onto the roof of Prague Castle, and replaced the presidential flag, an official symbol of the Czech Republic, with a pair of enormous red underpants. The move was meant as criticism of the current head-of-state’s past public behaviour and policies. The police charged the three with disorderly conduct, theft and the damage of private property; damages incurred in the stunt have been tabulated at 90 thousand crowns.
An open-air exhibition in remembrance of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved the lives of 669, mostly Jewish children, by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of WWII, gets underway on Wenceslas Square in Prague on Wednesday. The exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consists of 28 panels with photographs presenting the life story of Winton and the children he saved. It will run through the end of October. Sir Nicholas died on July 1 this year at the age of 106.
Security at Prague Castle is to be improved after the art group Ztohoven on Saturday replaced the presidential flag over Prague Castle with a pair of giant red boxer shorts in protest at President Miloš Zeman. The Castle authorities have been investigating how the group managed to get onto the roof, the news website iDnes.cz reported. It quoted the head of the Castle Guard as saying the Ztohoven members had taken advantage of the fact there that scaffolding was in place. Three people have been arrested in connection with the matter. The spokesman for President Zeman said personnel changes would be made in the Castle security team.
A new memorial to the world famous graphic designer and artist Ladislav Sutnar has just been unveiled in his birthplace Pilsen. The enlarged set of bright building blocks for kids, designed by Sutnar in the 1920’s, is located in front of Pilsen’s Faculty of Design and Art and is part of a long-term project aimed at reviving Sutnar’s memory in his homeland.
A new exhibition entitled a Brave New World – deliberately evoking the title of Aldous Huxley’s famous dystopian novel – has just opened in Prague’s DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. Running until mid-January next year, the exhibition is presenting the works of countless artists tasked with bringing to life various dark social themes such as surveillance, consumerism and totalitarian oppression. I spoke with the museum’s director and exhibition curator Leoš Válka and began by asking him to explain the idea behind the presentation.
The World Press Photo exhibition opens in Prague’s Karolinum, the seat of Charles University, on Friday night. Over 140 of the world’s best documentary photos will be on display until October 4th. This year’s overall winner is the Danish photographer Mads Nissen who won this year’s world photo contest with an intimate image of Jon and Alex, two gay men in St Petersburg, Russia. The winning picture is part of a larger project by Nissen called Homophobia in Russia. The picture was selected from close to a 100,000 entries submitted by close to 6,000 press photographers from 131 states.
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